Tag Archives: SAHM

How I Learned to Say Vagina From My Three-Year-Old: Something every parent should know

It’s amazing how many challenges come with parenting.  Before you have kids you think about the to-spank-or-not-to-spank debate and if you’ll stay at home or not.  After you have them you have to think about things like, well, vaginas and penises.  Actually, I wonder how many of you knew that it’s vaginae…

Well, there ya go. Learned something new? Let’s continue.

I grew up in a family where sex was not talked about.  Our bodies were not talked about.  There was this general air of “You’ll know…” and a book that was handed to you when you turned twelve.  About a month after receiving the book my mom would one day ask, “Now do you have any questions?”  Ummm, no. And that was that.
I started my sex education from a little boy in first grade who, while hiding with me in the back of my parents 12 passenger van, told me that if he kissed me with his tongue in my mouth it would make a baby. Interesting….
The subject of s-e-x is really no big deal in my family now. You might even say that it comes up too often over a big plate of Shipwrecks at family dinners. My parents changed and grew over the years as all of us will, and do. So I think my younger siblings got a completely different experience.  But still, I think that many of those in my ‘generation of parents’ had that experience of sex not being talked about and it really does affect how we look at our bodies and their sexual functions on a deep level. And it affects how we look at our children and our ability to teach them about their selves.
Travis and I had thought the whole thing through and decided how we were going the subject of private parts. We remembered the shame and confusion that a ‘Hush, hush!” approach had caused both of us and many of our friends.  We also weren’t naive enough to think that we could just raise our perfect little angels until they were 12 and THEN  have ‘The Talk”. Ok, seriously.  How many of you really didn’t know about sex until them.  Most of us knew just enough to be overconfident, confused, embarrassed but completely convinced that we were way past needing to talk to Mom and Dad about it.  Just enough to be dangerous.  While our parents were relieved to not have to spell out the details, many kids suffered from not having a real understanding and respect of their bodies. And many of us went on to ask all our questions from the kids who ‘knew’. Not so good.

It intrigues me how many parents don’t get the concept of shame that is almost always attached to these words.  We say things like “I just don’t think it’s right to hear that word out of a 3 year old’s mouth.” We teach our children cute little words like peter and who-ha thinking that we are keeping them sweet an innocent until it’s ‘time’ for them to learn the truth. Which is what, how to say vagina and penis? Do you have a problem hearing your child say ear?  I have a seriously uncanny phobia about feet. I didn’t teach my children to call their feet’ trotters’ so that I would feel more comfortable with what came out of their mouths.  I know a few people who do double duty, teaching their kids cute words AND the anatomical terms.  I guess that’s better. One friend has her daughter call it her ‘ninny’ which is absolutely adorable. I’m not gonna lie about it.  But I wonder if that is really helping or not either.  Aren’t you then maybe teaching them that their parts have these names that we don’t even say because it’s not appropriate, so we’ll say cute things instead, ok?  Don’t get me wrong. Part of me completely wishes that I could be ok with that approach. But my goal isn’t to get through the younger years of my kids being uninhibited with what they say to who, without them saying vagina in public. My hope is to someday have completely confident, secure adults who know who they are and have a safe, respectful and appropriate view of what their bodies are made for.  While a 3 year old doesn’t care what you teach them to call their vagina, when she’s 10 and aware of what her friends are saying there is an underlying awareness of not being ok to talk about it to mom and dad. I mean, I wasn’t even supposed to say the words….

Teaching Selah to use the appropriate words for her body seemed so simple, but I really did struggle with it at first.  I didn’t even realize how much shame I,myself,  had attached to the words.  I cringed and blushed the first few times I heard the word ‘vagina’ in her sweet little 2 year old voice. I had to cautiously work through my response and it was hard to do.  The more I went through the process, the more I was thankful that we were teaching our children to respect their bodies and be comfortable from the beginner. I had no idea what I would get out of the process.  My own shame and discomfort evaporated little by little as I watched my daughter in complete innocence grow more confident and secure with her body parts at 3 than I was at 30.  They’re there. They’re important and have a purpose. She learned an appropriate respect and boundaries without there ever being an issue of ‘don’t say that’!
And here’s the thing.  I am forever in awe and thankful for following what I felt was God’s gentle prompting to teach my children their bodies. Period.

I was completely unaware of the potential consequences of disguising body parts with play words, until the day that Selah told us that someone had touched hers. It something that every parent fears and prays that they never, ever, ever have to hear.  I’m just not even going to go into the extent of pain and crushing that can happen to your heart in 5 words from a precious, tiny child. She was 3 year old. It’s debilitating to face not being there in a moment when your child needs your protection.  I may share that someday, but not today.
We’re not the kind of parents who were going to brush over these things and ‘hope that she’ll forget’.  We went through the appropriate measures of reporting the incident to the police so our baby girl could get the counseling and support she needed to work through this. Waiting. Is. Not. An. Option. Even if you’re having a baby that week. It’s just NOT.
To make the report we had to take Selah to the Child Protection Agency so she could make an official  police statement.  It was….hard.  It was after Selah gave her statement that I realized how huge it is to teach your children their bodies.  The woman who interviewed Selah thanked me for teaching our daughter about her body, and was amazed at how secure and confident she was in talking about it.   Apparently one of the biggest problems that they deal with is the ‘play words’ that run rampant though our childrens’ vocabularies.   If she interviews a child who uses play words, they are not considered able to give a clear statement and it can be a very damaging setback in prosecuting their abuser. On the other hand, if you try to ‘fix’ it and teach them the real words after the fact then it is considered leading a witness.  As if the trauma of the situation isn’t bad enough for these children, imagine the helplessness of knowing that teaching them one word, the real word, could make of break the case against someone.  Our situation was different and we did not press charges for very specific, well thought out reasons.

Selah is fine. She’s about the most confident, secure seven year old you will meet.  We’re fine. We’re thankful for what we learned, even if we would never had wanted the experience for her or us.  This one is heavy today, and I know that.  But seriously, if you haven’t already… Tell. Them. About. Their. Bodies.

Edited to add: This is not meant to be a bummer of a post, but I do believe that good can come from circumstances that just aren’t.  I’m thankful and want to share with other parents what we learned through the experience. That whole God used it for good thing, ya know?

Amen. 🙂

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Filed under History, Inner Sessions, Motherhood, parenting, Uncategorized

Today- A Pathetic Tale of Miserable Hilarity, And The Quest For a Shower

Warning! This is not my typical day.  Picture me holding an egg. This is my normal well rounded day. Picture me cracking the egg over a disgusting pan of already burned grease that immediately makes it bubble and turn brown in it’s gross-looking-friedness.  That is today cracked of crazy amounts of lunacy.  Any questions??

Well then, here we go…

12:00am   Yes, the day starts here for a mom, not when the alarm goes off.  So…Eden finally goes back to sleep and Travis calls it a night. I decide that I have to make these muffins because I promised them to the kids for breakfast. I have laundry to fold anyway.

1:10am   Muffins are done, laundry folded. Sit down for five minutes to Defragment my internal momory card before going into sleep mode for the night.  AKA 5 minute Facebooking.

4:00am  Wake up.  Eden cries for 10 seconds and goes back to sleep. This is one of her usual times to wake up and nurse but since she was up and fussing from 10:30 to past midnight, I guess she could skip it. I go back to sleep.

5:55am Hear shuffling and banging coming from the kids’ room. Go check it out to find Selah has the nights on and is getting dressed for school. Convince her to grab her clothes and dress in the living room, turning the lights off and hoping the pthers stay asleep. Not holding my breath.

6:04am THe rest wake up. Change diaper on one, take pullup off another and put him on the potty, talk the other down from his low-blood-sugar panic and hand him a banana.  Start breakfast. Selah is dressed, looking for socks.

6:30 Making lunches for school, Selah is distaught over finding THE cool socks to go with her school uniform. The stripey ones. I tell her to wear tights. She wants her socks.

6:45 socks are found. Thank goodness!

6:57 Some sort of grizzly beast comes out of the bedroom with shoes on and his pajamas, offering valiantly to take Selah out to meet the bus. It’s a good thing, too because I’m still standing here in a t-shirt and underwear and the bus comes at 6:58. Mayb I can get a quick shower…

7:05 Get 3 younger kids dressed, dishes started, lunch finished for #2.

8:20 Suddenly realize that husband is still home, which means he’s expecting me to drop him off at the MARTA station. Right.  Put 2lbs of black beans on to boil before we leave. Start the ‘JAckets and Shoes’ process that we go through every morning to get these boys out the door.

8:37 turn off beans and leave them to rest, jump in the car and head to the preschool. Drop poor husband on the side of the road in the cold. He’s tough. He’ll survive. I don’t want to be late to the school.

9:15 Leave the school with the younger 2 and head to Carol’s house to pick up a few things.  I love seeing her face and letting the kids play for a minute. THis is going to be a great day, methinks.

10:00am Back home and lock Lucas in the bathroom with the baby gate. Our daily routine now, and it is again successful. Poop goes on the potty. I’m thrilled, it’s been one week today since his last accident.  Maybe we’re close to done with this! Could it be?

10:30am Do the dishes, start the beans boiling, and try to ‘Charlotte-proof” the house.  Dang that gurl is cute but she can get into anything and everything. Lucas is looking forward to playing with Avery but keeps calling him Simon. Whatever. He’s got the right family anyway.  Chadd has been showing up after 11om with the kids on Wednesday.  I think I can finally sneak in my shower now.

10:32am Tonya calls. Can she bring over the kids now?  Glad she called. Shower will wait and small children won’t complain that I’m stinky and my hair is “tore up”.

10:40am  Poor Tonya falls over the ‘Charlotte-proofing’ gate at the entry and Charlotte starts to cry. And Avery starts to cry… Uh oh.

11:00am Finish the dishes, finally. Start a big batch of Granola Bars, turn on a movie for the kiddos.

11:10 Restart the movie because CHarlotte turned it off and  the boys are protesting.

11:20 Restart the movie because Charlotte turned it off and  the boys are protesting.

11:30 Restart the movie because Charlotte turned it off and  the boys are protesting. Try to put Eden down for a nap, but Lucas is running up and down the hall. Avery follows.

11:40 Decide to stay in sight of the DVD player to keep it going for the boys.

12:15pm Get lunch ready carefully for all 4 kids. None of them will eat. At all.

1:30pm Still no one wants to eat. It’s really great food guys. Guys?  Try to put Eden down for a nap again. No-go. Start a load of laundry in the washer and sit down to watch the rest of the movie with the kids.  At least all of them are h appy and Eden is fine as long as I’m holding her or she’s nursing.  This girl NEEDS some sleep! Wait. Am I talking about her or me?

2:20pm Tonya and Chadd come for their munchkins. I’m so tired.  Must put black beans in freezer bags and out of my way.  And I totally have time to take a shower before I go get the kids. Right?

2:30 Walk into the bathroom to shift the laundry to the dryer and hopefully take this shower that has evaded me all day. Lucas is right behind me begging to go outside. Hold on, why is the rug soaking my feet? IS that water on the WALL? And every inch of the floor? And all over the top of the washer and dryer?

2:35pm Send Lucas out for a few minutes while I soak up the deluge. Apparently the wash mashing when psycho when I put that load in and I’ve not come in and had the door shut to keep Charlotte and Eden from toilet diving. I had no idea..

2:40 Call Lucas in but he’s hiding and doesn’t want to come. Very uncharacteristic of him.. I head to the fort and suspicion is confirmed. My accident free streak has come to an end. Oh crap. Yeah.

2:45 Lucas is standing in the shower where I’ve just hosed all of his poop off and I grab the nifty diaper sprayer from the side of the toilet.  It’s like the sprayer on your kitchen sink, but attached to your toilet so you can easily spray the poop off of cloth diapers. About twice the water pressure of the sink version. Very convenient and effective. But today, after several years of successful use with the sprayer, I make the mistake that so many have done. U press the button with it upside down and shoot my self straight in the right eye, knocking my glasses right off of my face and across the room. Ummmm….ow!

2:50pm Re-dress the Poopsmith, trying not to be angry with him, which is quite a feat of self control.  Take a towel and dry my ahir and face, walking gingerly around the bathroom to find my glasses because I’m completely blind without them… and I HAD to chose such a cool clear frame design. Thankfully, because my purple hair has ruined them and turned the ends purple, I’m able to find them.  I guess I can’t be mad at my hair anymore, now can I?

2:55pm Reach over to finally flush the toilet and it starts to overflow. You have GOT to be kidding me!  I fall the the floor and reach behind the tank to turn the water off in the nick of time, saving myself from mopping up the entire floor again.  At this point, getting a shower before heading out for the afternoon routine of picking the older 2 up from their respective schools is completely out of the question.  I’m stinky.

3:10 Wrestle #3 and #4 into the car, with Lucasaurus raging that his ‘Momma’s Skirt’ can’t go with us for the drive. It’s in the tub with a mess of towels because he had left it on the bathroom floor. Explaining that for a 3 year old to understand can truly take all of your mental capacity at times. Or, well, the little that I have left at this point.

3:15pm Pull up to Selah’s Bus stop JUST in time to see the bus wiz by. Luckily she saw me pull into the parking lot and stops.  As usual, get funny looks from people driving down Bankhead as my daughter runs toward me and trips on the sidewalk. She’s not the most greaceful of 7 year olds. But she’s cute. She fusses a little and gets in the van. The rest of the rush to Jacob’s school is uneventful. We make it on time and I don’t have the threat of $1 a minute hanging over my head today.  I think the day is getting better now.

3:50: Pull into driveway.  Seeing the mailbox reminds me that I forgot to put a check in the mail AGAIN. Get kids inside. It’s gorgeous out.  So glad Janet is coming by, but I think she may think I’m a loon after she sees my house.  She said she’d be here at 4:30. I can get a shower now.

3:53 Change Eden’s diaper, place her in crib and take her bottle away to fix the sucked in nipple for her.  Drop bottle all over the floor. Stop. Breathe. It’s fine.  Ask Jacob to bring a rag for the floor and he returns with my nice bathroom handtowel that was next to the sink. What the heck. I’m pretty sure that every towel I own is in the bottom of the shower right now waiting to be cleaned up. Which can’t happen until Travis gets home and figures out what the deal is with the washer. I use the towel.

3:56: Walk to the kitchen and ask where Ludini is, notice that the front door is wide open.  Uh Oh.  Run out the door and down the steps to find the wayward 3yo in the van with all the doors open.  Looking for gum.

4:10 Go in the bathroom and notice that someone didn’t flush.  Flush, nothing happens. Oh yeah. Turned the water off and still need to plunge. Oh Dear Lord, help me…

4:12 Look in the fridge for Margarita Mix. I wasn’t kidding when I called Janet and informed her that she is now coming over for Margaritas instead of coffee…. except that now I see the Margarita Mix is all gone.

4:13 Remember the Granola Bars are still in the oven.  Pull them out slightly burnt and already too cold to cut easily.  This is not going to be so easy after all. Knock on the door.

4:15 Send all of the kids out in the yard to play with Esther.  Laugh with Janet about the insanity of this day, as I sit and strategically peel tiny pieces of stuck on wax paper off of a million granola bars, one by one. I guess lining the pan with it was not the most genius idea.  Secretly hope that Jamet can’t smell me from the other side of the table.  Great visit.  Still. Need. Shower.

5:40 Start Dinner.

5:45: Selah runs into the kitchen “Mom!! That show is on!! WIth Dr Phil! The one I’m going to sing on when I’m 10!”  First time the TV has been on in the afternoon like this. I forgot the show existed. Who was it that told me they thought SAHM’s sit around watching soap operas all day?

6:09 Travis calls. Not going to be home till almost 7. He’s usually almost home by now. Don’t panic. Just because you have a baby wailing and pulling on your legs, a 1st grader needing help with homework and two small boys fighting over the Wii, doesn’t mean you have to lose it.

6:15 Give up on making dinner with the klingon attached to my calf. Run outside to grab my Sugar Tai out of the car and tie her on my back to finish dinner.  Get back inside to find a perfectly happy baby playing in the klingon’s place. Oh whatever.  Back to the black beans and rice for dinner.

6:52 Husband arrives, all children jump for joy.  Kids are fed. Homework and piano practice are done already. I hand him the ‘hold-me’ baby and crawl into bed for a short nap. Just. Need. A. Minute.

7:38 Husband wakes me up and I immediately panic. THAT was not 10 minutes.  I still NEED MY SHOWER!!!! And I’m about to go visit a client? No way. I head to the bathroom to find that Lucas is still in there waiting to take his pants off. I just go in and start taking them off for him. Oh glory be. He pooped in them. Again.

7:43 Change Eden and get her in PJS as Travis puts the Poopsmith in the bath.  I splash my face with water, put on a clean shirt and head out the door to Canton for a Post Birth Visit.

8:25 I’m heading up 75 and pass Barrett Pkwy. Wait a minute I should be on 575!!!

8:40 Visit Momma. Love that baby and her sweet, proud big sister!!

10:25 Heading home and don’t want to fall asleep. Ther perfect answer is to call Sunny in California. SHe answers and says “Hey, it’s late!” HA! I love her!

10:35 Suddenly realize that the reason I’m so shaky is that I didn’t exactly eat lunch or dinner. Jsut snacked on the burn Granola Bars.  Pull off next exit to find food because I’m feeling pretty desperate to not pass out driving.  Follow the signs to the right towards food.  Can’t believe that Wendys and McDs are my real options. Bleck!

10:40 TWO MILES LATER….Starting to wonder if these ‘fat’ food joints exist, telling Sunny on the phone where to send the helicopters to hunt for me, and I see them.  But there’s a Hardees! They do thick-burgers wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun. Not too bad!

10:43  Sit at the drive through waiting for someone to come on.Nobody.  GO back and look at the hours on the window again. Oh, it’s 11pm on weekends. Ugh.  HEad out of the parking lot but have to go right to the next light, do a uturn and then another uturn up the road to get to McDs. Wendy’s is nowhere in sight.

10:45 Order easily. Plain grilled chicken breast, small fries and a sweet tea. I should not be eating this. I’m weak 😦 Pull forward behind a big white truck at the drive through window and wait.

10:47 And wait…

10:50 And wait…

10:57 Truck pulls away with one drink and one bag of food after 12 minutes in front of me. This is a very bad sign.  I pull up and take the bag handed to me. The fries look disgusting. I ask if they have fresh ones. Kind old man in the window says I canmake you some, it’ll take 3.5 minute. No thanks. I’ll survive.

10:59 Pull away wondering why a sweet old man with shaky hands is working the drive through window so late at night. WOnder what his story is.  Grab the bag of food and reach in for a straw.None. Neither are their napkins. I have to drink from the cup(I HATE doing that!) and eat my soggy chicken and limp, cold fries with no napkins.  I’m not liking the polite old man so much, actually.

11:05 Done eating chicken, thinking I’ll count my losses with the fries and the tea. Call Sunny back to talk to me the rest of the way home.  SUnny stories always make me feel, well, sunny?

11:28 Pull into the driveway. I made it home without mishap!  Curl up on the couch in a ball with my head on Travis’ shoulder to completely relax into oblivion for a few minutes.  He’s my favorite place to be xoxo

11:40 Keep resting on my man, who is playing Super Mario Brothers on the Wii. If I wasn’t so worn out that my hairs even ache, I’d almost believe we were teenagers again for a moment.  WHo knew 16 years ago we’d still be vegging on the couch together shooting fireballs and flying with raccoon tails.

11:45 Finally… I’m in the shower.I can’t believe it! I made it before midnight.  But something is off. What is it?  Can’t quite figure it out…wait. I’m wearing my glasses IN the shower! Again! It’s official. I’m suffing from WOMS. (Worn Out Mom Syndrom).

11:50 I’m out.  Thinking how thankful I am for my time living in South America and learning how to take a shower in 5 minutes including shampoo, condition, shave legs, shave underarms and exfoliate the face. I feel so fresh and clean.

12:00 Realize that I can’t go to sleep with my hair wet and I’m NOT risking turning on the dryer to wake up the wee little whiner who still doesn’t sleep through the night.

12:05 Travis goes to bed and I get the bright idea to write down the day’s hilarity, just in case I want to read something funny tomorrow. Who knows? I mean, tomorrow could be a BAD day….

12:45 Goodnight!!!!!

12:47  Eden wakes up crying to nurse…

Disclaimer: This post was based on true events. All times listed are approximations and listed in MST(Maternal Standard Time). Please do not try to correct my time or description on this chain of events. Feel free to comment and tell me your favorite parts.  We can laugh together about it then.  All names have been changed to protect the innocent… Oh wait, I forgot to do that one….

 

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Filed under Family, Mom on The Clock, Motherhood, parenting, Uncategorized

The Day of The Colonoscopy

Just got home and I’m totally spent.  It was a long day.  I wanted to let my mommas know that they were able to rule out any cysts or tumors. Not a polyp either.  His colon is inflamed and they took 2 biopsies that we will not get the results of until Friday.  So, at least the big scary stuff is off the list of options.   
Selah and Lucas spent the night at my in-laws house, a rare treat for them and us.  It’s amazing how well Jacob did with not being able to eat for 24 hours. He would ask for food but never fussed when we told him that he had to wait for the doctor to give him permission at the hospital. During mealtimes I sat and played with him so he got some special momma time.
He started out excited when we got to the hospital, but became uneasy when we were put in the room. We almost had a full on revolt when he recognized the gown from prior visits. He didn’t want that thing near him.  The’ goofy gas’ they gave him loosened him up pretty quickly.  We got a bit of a glimpse of what Jacob the Stoner would be like…
The took him from the room and we waited, and waited… I tried to knit. I turned on the TV. Finally I forced Travis to get off of his laptop and walk down to the cafe with me for a cup of coffee and a muffin. We hadn’t eaten, of course, since Jacob couldn’t.  I walked through the gift shop to laugh at a bunch of horrendous junk.  Who buys this stuff?
We were only back in the room for about 10 minutes before the brought him back.  Coming out of it was pretty traumatic for all of us.  He was kicking and screaming as if he didn’t even know we were there.  All I could think of is ‘This is what Jacob would be like if he was autistic”.  I’ve never heard him scream like that or have a fit like that.  I held him kicking and screaming for 20 minutes while he was still coming out. He doesn’t even remember it, but my arms are literally still sore from it for hours afterward. Finally the only thing that would calm him was to have the lights off while watching TV.  But the only thing that made it work was me talking in a constant, low voice while he watched ‘The Fox and The Hound”.  The second he didn’t hear my voice, he would start screaming and writhing again.  Eventually it all wore off and he was jut a little dizzy and off balance for the rest of the afternoon.
We let him choose to go to a restaurant after the hospital to get something to eat. Chickfila, of course. That’s a big treat around here.  It was so strange to be there, just Mom, Popi and Jake. He was loving it.
We drove up to get Selah and Lucas, about 45 minutes away, and spent the rest of the afternoon there.
By the time I got them all dressed and in bed I was so worn out.  I felt like I could use some goffy gas myself. For kicks here’s a video of him on the ‘goofy gas’ before he went in.

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Filed under All Posts, Candid Kid-versations, Family

Do You Believe We Have The Right?

Got this from a friend. If you believe we should have a right to homeschool, please go and sign!  You don’t have to WANT to homeschool to believe that we have the right!
———————

This is really outrageous. I feel for the homeschooling families in California. If you go to the HSLDA site http://www.hslda.org you can sign the petition to depublish the recent case in California. This is all explained on the HSLDA site – spouses can sign separately.

Dear Fellow Homeschooler,

Many of you have already heard about the recent ruling in CA requiring all home school families to have a state teaching certificate in order to continue homeschooling. This virtually outlaws homeschooling in that state. It could also set a precedent for other states to follow if we do not act. Dr. Dobson addressed this issue in his daily broadcast yesterday. I have enclosed the link so you may listen as he talks with several experts on the repercussions of this case.

There is something we can do about this! We can sign a petition put out by HSLDA to stop this decision from becoming law in CA. You will be helping your fellow homeschoolers in CA and eventually all homeschoolers in America. To sign the petition simply go to the HSLDA website. The link to the petition is currently on their home page.

Please stand together with us to fight this terrible offense. Feel free to forward this email to all of your home school friends to get the word out and take action.

Sincerely,

Audrey Britt
President, Home Front Educators

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Filed under All Posts, Belief

Ready to Read?

Here is a fun ‘Reading Readiness’ test for 4 year olds.  I had Jacob do it and he got 17 out of 20, most likely because he’s around when Selah is reading and is very interested.  He didn’t get the rhyming question.  Selah wanted to do the test too (even though she already reads) and got all of them rapidfire and correct, except the rhyming question!  I think I know what we’ll be working on this week!
 
http://school.familyeducation.com/reading/early-learning/46528.html?detoured=1

 I don’t have any intention of starting any work with him other than we already do or anything.  The test is just a fun little quiz and I was pretty happy with how he did at only just having turned 3 in January.  See, my kids learn something…

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Filed under All Posts, Candid Kid-versations, homeschooling, Just for Kicks

Of Mice and Media

I distinctly remember a conversation that Travis and I had with another couple when we were preggers with our first, Selah.  Somehow we had gotten on the subject of children’s media and they were incredulous at our intention of keeping it bare bones in our house. 

Them: Well, aren’t you going to let them watch the Simpsons? (insert look of amazement)

US: Ummm.. Heck no.

Them: There’s nothing wrong with the Simpsons. It’s hilarious!  Our kids are gonna love the Simpsons! Don’t tell me your going to be one of those ‘Disney is Evil.’ families!  (I almost stepped aside to look in the mirror to be sure that I hadn’t actually grown two heads)

Us:  Well, the thing of it is…

Yes, the thing of it is… what is the thing of it.  Simpsons.  Yes, it’s funny.  Seriously clever and entertaining. But honestly?  Mom’s a wimp and off in lala land.  Dad’s a lazy bum that certainly isn’t the best example for his kids.  Bart, totally undisciplined and disrespectful.  Lisa, unchallenged and unvalidated.  Maggie…whatever.  Dude, go for it. Watch the Simpsons.  I’ll watch it now and then and laugh.  But I’m not going to let a 3 year old that is just learning how to be respectful and interact with others watch that.   It plants seeds that I don’t want and I have enough weeding and pruning to do on my sweet little guys.  I’m not up for adding that into my workload.  You go for it.  That discussion was about 5 1/2 years ago.  As far as I can see, the other couple’s kids are pretty great.  I’ve never asked if they actually let them watch the Simpsons.  It’s just not that big of a deal to me.  When they get older?  Maybe. Doubt it, but maybe.

Now Disney. That’s just downright evil from the pit of hell. Oh, I so crack myself up sometimes.  There was a huge ‘boycott Disney’ movement when I was growing up.  Maybe it’s still around?  Surprisingly enough my parents didn’t get too active in it. They’d already cut out so many things that they had Disney covered long before the boycott started.  I never say scooby doo until after I was married.  I still don’t think I’ve ever really seen the Smurfs.  My father still swears that smurf means ‘little demon’ in Swedish or something.  We seriously weren’t allowed to watch just about anything.  Except the Cosby Show, Little House on The Prairie, Mash, Night Rider and McGyver.  The last three because my father loved them and his short lived stance against the media for kids wasn’t as strong as his desire to watch HIS favorite shows.  No TiVo back then.

Ok, back to Disney. I don’t hate The Mouse, but I don’t let my kids watch Disney, I think.  I say I think because it’s more about individual movies.  These movies are made by some seriously talented people and I enjoy them.  But children see things so differently. They see a movie one timeand they’re consumed with the desire to BE the princess or the hero. They long for the romance that they don’t understand and aren’t ready for.  They see the villains and monsters and their little hearts haven’t yet learned to distinguish between reality and fantasy.  Think about Sleeping Beauty or The Little Mermaid.  The witches are terrifying! Not just because their witches and witches are eeeevvviillll.   They morph into these huge monsters with sounds and flashes and …terror!  It’s the picture that I don’t want to be putting into their little minds.  Their innocence is only intact as long as I protect it.  And at this point we prefer to limit their exposure to things that are a little more on the realistic side of fantasy. None of them seems scared by our oppressive parenting so far.

 But I’m also very big on giving our children choices. Because, whether we as parents like it or not, they always have a choice. And “because I said so” can be a slippery slope of uneducation that I don’t want my kids to slide down.  So, I spend a lot of time explaining their choices.

Last week Selah saw a copy of Sleeping Beauty and was just begging to see it.  The child was batting her eyelashes with a sweet little tilt to her head. She looked up at me with those big brown eyes…. “Please let me see it, Momma.”  So I sat down with her in my lap for a talk. 

Me: Why do you want to watch this movie, Love?

Selah: Because I want to watch the Princess and see the castle! It looks beautiful.

Me: She is beautiful, but this movie is a little bit scary. There is a mean witch in this movie that wants to kill Sleeping Beauty. She’s mean and hateful. She throws fire and turns into a dragon and destroys things especially trying to kill the prince that is coming to save the princess. It gets really loud and confusing with lots of fire and the big dragon. I’m worried that if you watch this you will have those pictures in your head and your heart, and they will make you afraid when you think of them. They will give you bad dreams in the night when you could have had good dreams without those pictures in your head.

Selah: Oh…. stares off with her brow creased in concern.

Me: Selah, Do you still want to watch the movie?

Selah: No thanks, Momma. I’m going to go play with my dollhouse. Maybe I can watch it when I’m 10. And off she gallops to sweet playtime adventure.

Now, had she said yes I would have talked to Travis and we may have sat down and watched it with her, asking her how it made her feel at intense intervals to see how she fared. I have no doubt that she would have asked to turn it off at some point.

So, the TV is hardly ever on around here, but I don’t go around saying the TV is sinful.  I do love that instead of begging for, well, I don’t know any shows really… my 5 and 3 year old will sit side by side for an hour at the dining room table doing puzzles.   They haven’t seen a lot of the popular movies and didn’t understand most of the costumes on Halloween that kids wore pertaining to their favorite characters.  My kiddos begged to dress up as Dorothy and The Tin Man because that’s what we were reading at the time.  See, they get some fantasy. But, I still wouldn’t let them watch the ‘Wizard of Oz’ for quite awhile.

I have found that the Pixar movies are generally pretty good.  See, I’m not totally off my rocker.  They don’t have the romantic themes and, while fantastic, they’re more realistic?  The kids were just allowed to watch Toy Story at a friend’s house.  My son immediately decided he is Buzz Lightyear.  I have to say that it confirmed my conviction a bit. If they are at a stage where they are going to take on the personalities of what they watch, I’d better get some good stuff into that DVD player for them to copy!

Anyway, I’m now rambling for no reason. I’m sure you get my point.  I’d love to see some suggestions for good movies for kids to grow on.  The current favorites are Charlotte’s Web, Mary Poppins, Sound of Music and Evan Almighty, followed by any Veggie Tales they can get their hands on.   Think about it for a second and post a comment letting me know what movies you want your kids to act like? 

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Filed under All Posts, Belief, Candid Kid-versations, Family

Houston, We Have A Problem

Here I am, at 6 o’clock in the morning…still dreaming about you…

Song lyrics from yet another cheesy song.  It’s from the mid 80’s.  It’s driving me CRAZY that I can’t remember the rest of the song, title or big haired group.  I just tried to google the lyrics and instead of the answer, I found myself clicking on a nasty porn site.  What jerks to disguise it as something normal. I’m really pretty ticked about it.  Selah was standing right here!!  Thank God I could just shut the laptop and say, over the obnoxious groans, “Honey, go get Popi to wake up.”  Lovely obedient girl…

So, Why am I up and typing again, when I just finished up 4 1/2 hours ago?  Well. I wasn’t sleeping well.  I’m totally achy and sore.  I was still trying to convince myself that it was just a bad cycle, not an indication that The Diva Cup was not so welcome where it was. Then it happened. A about 5:30 I sneezed.  It wasn’t a big sneeze. Nothing close to The Sneeze of 2005 when I peed my pants while I was preggers with Jacob. Now that was embarrassing.  No, this was a modest little sneeze.  Didn’t even wake Travis.  Yes it must have ‘broken the seal’.  I felt a little gush yet was still in that half asleep state where it didn’t register concern. For about five minutes.  Then the nagging something that wasn’t letting me go back to sleep registered.  Um, uh-oh.  Gush is a very, very bad thing. 

So I rolled out of bed and dragged myself to the bathroom.  Yep.  Soaked.  As I reached to Remove the Diva Cup I was shocked at how painful it was.  The walls of my vaja-ja were so sore.  Seriously, ouch.  So out it came.  Dumped it. Rinsed it.  Went to go get a pad.  I think the Diva Cup and I need a break.

I’m really, really sad.   I think this is an amazing product and I wanted to be able to give it a rave review.  It’s not over. I’m going to call Diva Cup today and talk to them.  My suspicion is that I should have the smaller size 1 cup.  I already know I have a small vagina. I’ve (to my sadness) had 3 c-sections, so no stretching by birth.  When I was fitted for a diaphragm I was the smallest size available. That was only a little over a year ago.  So, I’m hoping this is just a size issue. We’ll see.  For now I’m giving it a rest and I’m back to the Glad Rags.

And now both boys are up.  Selah and Travis just left to go on a ‘date’, which simply means breakfast alone at the All Star Cafe.  Teaching my precious girl how a man should treat her early 🙂 More on that later.  For now I’m going on less than 4 hours of sleep.  Lucas woke back up and had to play for another 45 minutes after my  last entry.  I have a tour of the public school with Selah at 8:30(I’ll explain why later), a Koala Mommas meeting to go to at 10:00 and Travis has today off so we intended to do something special with the kids today.May be hard with the rain.  I’m so tired, I actually feel physically ill to the pit of my stomach, so please ignore any extra typos. Not a way to start the day.  I’m going to go make some juice and oatmeal to feed my boys.

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Filed under All Posts, Mellow Shade of Green, Reviews